Progress in preventing prison rapes

  • Article by: EDITORIAL , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: May 29, 2012 - 4:30 PM

Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003 hoping to contain a national epidemic. Nearly a decade later, however, the problem apparently persists.

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eman2001May. 29, 12 4:44 PM

Most of these men will be out on the streets again sometime. I'm sure most of us would want to have them come out better than when they went in. Help them! And please stop the prison rape jokes!

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zippo12May. 30, 12 9:16 PM

The fact that prison rape continues is damning to us all. No one should EVER be raped. And prison rape is rarely a one-time experience. Victims get pegged as being okay to rape--everybody knows it and nobody steps in to help them. That leads the victims to have to "get a man" to keep from being raped. This is only better by degrees, for now the victim is raped by his "man" in exchange for protection--and some of these men are incredibly violent to their victims, even pimping them out to other prisoners. The guards and the prison officials know what is going on, and they actually prevent victims from defending themselves. For example, when two victims team up to stop the abuse, the prison officials will separate the two, leaving them once again available to be raped. All this is well documented in "Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison," by T.J. Parsell. Parsell was twice gang raped and forced to get a man which led to his being brutalized throughout his time in prison. His prison experience was a non-stop nightmare. Parsell testified before congress leading up to the passage of the 2003 law that unsuccessfully tried to address the issue. Aside from "Night," by Elie Wiesel, "Fish" was the most disturbing book I have ever read.

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